People have been wondering where I am, what I’m doing and what it all means, so maybe I need to write about Arizona, so far. At the end of August my time/internship in Montana came to a close and I spent a few weeks traveling from Colorado to Utah to California and finally landed in Parker, Arizona. Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge is my next ‘assignment’ until March, where I will be a Visitor Services and Interpretation Intern. What does that entail? Well it will eventually be me visiting local schools to deliver 20+ different outdoor education programs to 3rd graders, on up. There are community outreach events, such as river clean up and friends and family day as well as interacting with visitors in our small visitor center. We have an archery program that will start in the spring where I will be teaching kids how to shoot an arrow! I’ve also done some field work and even bush-whacked with a hand-held saw, helped trap/monitor small rodents and will possibly go E-fishing this month where we temporarily stun the fish with electricity to monitor them. Fish and Wildlife Service is a government agency whose mission is: “working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.” Boom. Those that know me best can understand how great of an opportunity this is for me, due to my extreme animal and outdoor love. What’s most peculiar to me are the many who ask, so what are you going to do next? There is one thing I know with utmost certainty and that is – I have no fuggin idea what is going to happen next. I am trying to be as present as possible and to experience as much as I can at this temporary position. That is all I know for now.
Honestly, Arizona has been a constant adjustment since I got here and just really tough for many reasons… personal and professional. It’s getting used to a place all over again, finding the restaurant that doesn’t smell like a toilet, discovering the place worthy of being called my local bar, figuring out why every deadly/venomous creature has to live here and come into/near my house, why people ride around in golf carts and do I need to get one to fit in, where can I hike with the least chance of getting bit by a mohave green rattlesnake, how tan can I possibly get before I turn crusty, do I need to invest in a bunch of muumuus and drink every beverage out of a ceramic pineapple to feel most myself here, am I trailer trash and if not what constitutes trailer trash, how hot is too hot and will I ever get used to this desert living? IMPORTANT questions like these… all while being isolated without my friends, family or coworkers around. Tough, yes. BUT HELL, it’s an adventure right? And a real pretty one, at that.